Suffragettes were militant women protesters who, beginning in the late 19th century worked for broad-based economic and political equality and social reforms, and sought to change voting law to allow them to vote. "Voting rights for women were introduced into international law by the United Nations' Human Rights Commission, whose elected chair was Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1948 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Article 21 stated: '(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."
To celebrate this very special day, I have assembled a few amazing historical facts about the women's movement in the United States.
1. There has always been a presence of women in the military on a volunteer and temporary basis. After the Spanish-American War, the nation finally recognized that there was a need for an ongoing presence of women in the military. In 1901 the Army Nurse Corps was created and the Navy Nurse Corps was created in 1908.
2. In 1900 married women were allowed to keep the wages they earned and own property in their name.
3. The first U.S. college to admit women was Salem College, founded in 1772 as a primary school. However, it wasn’t until the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act of 1862 was founded, that universities had to educate men and women in practical fields of study. It wasn’t until 1980 that men and women started to attend college in equal numbers. In the past few years, more women graduating from high school, attending and graduating from college, and earning graduate degrees than men.
4. Title IX was passed in 1972. This was a law that requires schools that receive money from the federal government to give their female students the same opportunities to play sports as male students.
5. Before the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, women could be fired if they were pregnant.
6. Today more than 30 percent of all businesses are owned and operated by women.
7. In 2015 Capt. Kristen Griest and LT. Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to graduate from the Army’s Ranger School.
8. 2017 marked the first time that the Navy has had female applicants for SEAL Officer, Special Boats Unit.
My mother, grandmothers, aunts, and cousins are all active members of various women's groups here in the Great Swamp. And I couldn't be prouder of all of them! To the women of the U.S. and around the world, I salute you on Women's Equality Day. You've come a long way but still have a way to go to achieve full gender equality. It's kind of scary for me to think that in 2019 women still are not being treated equally with men. But the good news is, that gap is shrinking. You can count on this little green frog to have your back and to support your efforts.
One of the best ways I can think of to celebrate Women's Equality Day is to encourage every woman to get out and vote, not just in the big national elections but also at the local level. Every vote is important and you've struggled a long time to earn that right. Don't waste it! And if you know of women who are not registered to vote, encourage and help them to do so. Women's voices can, and have changed the course of history around the world.
Tomorrow is National Just Because Day and I have a special blog planned to celebrate a day that's tailor-made just for you! Please stop back by. Until then, enjoy your week and